More than €600 million in funding is to be made available this year for the maintenance and improvement of the State’s regional and local roads network.
The funding is part of the €4.3 billion investment in regional and local roads, pledged under the National Development Plan 2007 – 2013.
More than half of this year’s allocation or €310 million will go towards for the restoration of pavements along some 2,540 kilometres of roads across the State.
The second major tranche of the 2009 allocation will see €182 million invested in 316 specific improvement projects, including new roads and bridges and several road and bridge upgrades.
Announcing details of the funding today, Minister for Transport Noel Dempsey said 94 per cent of all Irish roads are regional or local and carry about 60 per cent of all traffic and 43 per cent of all goods traffic.
“It is, therefore, imperative that we maintain and, where necessary, improve the network,” Mr Dempsey said.
Some €8.6 million will be spent at hundreds of accident blackspots across the State.
“Safety is central to all road improvement and maintenance work and is a key plank of the road investment programme," Mr Dempsey said.
“As in previous years, I am making specific allocations this year to tackle accident blackspots. This year, specific safety measures will be put in place at over 300 locations."
A total of €15 million has been set aside for the Local Improvements Scheme, which provides grants to county councils for carrying out of road works on private roads.
The scheme is aimed at improving access for people in isolated and depopulated areas.